The Point of Purity Podcast


Episode #148 - The Fall of a Super Man (pt.1)

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Episode #148 - "The Fall of a Super Man (pt.1)"   



Transcript

Do you desire to please God with your life? Do you also struggle with sinful thoughts and habits? There’s a conflict going on there, right? On the one hand there’s a desire to please God. Yet on the other there’s a strong desire to please self.

In Gal. 5:17 Paul reminds us that the flesh is in conflict with the Spirit – and the Spirit is in conflict with the flesh. They are opposed to each other making it difficult to do what is right.

Welcome to the Point of Purity Podcast! I’m your host Steve Etner – author, National Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach for The Pure Man Ministry and this is Episode #148. In this episode we continue our journey through my book entitled “Are You a Super Man? Becoming God’s Man of Steel” by taking a look at Chapter Eight. This week’s episode is entitled “The Fall of a Super Man.”

I begin this week’s podcast by reading to you a short story from Chapter Eight of my book “Are You a Super Man? Becoming God’s Man of Steel.” And I quote:

“The sun was beginning to rise above the horizon as Abraham and Lot finished offering a sacrifice to the Almighty God. As they stood on top of that hill, talking about the many ways God had blessed them, they could see all of their flocks and herds as well as the hundreds of tents belonging to their servants totting the countryside below them. God had indeed blessed them.

“Soon their time of worship was interrupted by a disturbingly intense commotion. Coming up the hillside were the sounds of their herdsmen bickering, yet again, about whose sheep belonged to whom and whose grass they were grazing on. “Hey, those are our sheep! They’re not your sheep, they’re ours! Well, your sheep are eating our grass! That’s not your grass, it’s ours!” And so it went.

“Abraham and Lot stood there, watching the foremen attempt to stop the fight. Abraham leaned heavily on his staff and began shaking his head. Pursing his lips, he let out a big sigh and turned to his nephew. ‘Lot,’ he said, ‘we have to do something about this. This quarreling between our herdsmen just cannot go on any longer.’

“’I agree Uncle.’ Lot replied. ‘But what do you suggest?’ Abraham looked heavenward and prayed for wisdom. After a few moments of silence, he had an idea. A brilliant idea. ‘Look around, Nephew. Look at all the land before us that God has given us. Here’s what I suggest. Let’s part company. If you want to go east, I’ll go west. Or, if you choose to go west, I’ll go east. It doesn’t really matter to me, so I’ll let you decide.’

“Lot always knew there was something he liked about his uncle. Leaning forward, Lot looked to the west and instantly wrinkled his nose. Nothing very promising in that direction. Turning to the right, he looked east. Now there was some prime land! The whole plain of the Jordan was lush and green. The sunlight looked like brilliant gems dancing across the streams that watered the plain. Huh, there was even a booming metropolis off in the far distance – a great place to do business.

“’Uncle,’ Lot said, with a big grin on his face. ‘Since you are giving me first dibs, I choose to go east!’” End of quote.

Hopefully you recognize this story straight out of Scripture in Genesis chapter 13. Now I want you to notice the wording of Genesis 13:11 which tells us that “Lot chose FOR HIMSELF the whole plain of the Jordan.” If you’ve listened to previous episodes of this podcast, then you have heard me say that we do what we do because in our hearts we want what we want. In other words, our actions will always follow the intentions of our heart. Therefore, because Lot’s heart was all about King Me (I want, I need, I deserve, I desire, I have to have, I can’t live without), he chose (for himself) to go east and leave his uncle with what Lot thought was second best.

As we will see shortly that King Me centered choice let to other choices, which in turn led to other choices – all of which resulted in the fall of a Super Man of God. “Now wait just a minute!” You say. “Lot? Are you calling Lot a Super Man of God?” No, I’m not. But God is!

If you’re familiar with the story in the Bible about Sodom and Gomorrah, then you may recall that (as 2 Peter 2:6-8 says) God “condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly.”

But before destroying those cities for their wickedness, God sent two of his angels disguised as men in order to (as 2 Peter 2:6-8 continues to say) “rescue Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard.”

Did you catch the fact that 3 times in just 2 verses God calls Lot a RIGHTEOUS man? Now, just so we’re clear, the word “righteous” means exactly what you would expect it to mean in the Bible. It refers to a person who stands before God as one approved and accepted.

He stood before the Almighty as one approved and accepted. So, that begs the question, what exactly is it that makes a person “righteous” in God’s eyes? I mean, when you look at the life of Lot in Scripture, we see nothing to indicate that he was a righteous man. So, what makes a person righteous before God?

Hebrews 11:4 tells us that Abel was a righteous man because of his faith in God.

Genesis 15:6 tells us that Abraham was considered a righteous man because he believed the Lord.

In Galatians 3:11 we read that “No one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous will live by faith.”

And in Romans 3:20, 22 the Apostle Paul writes that “no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law ... this righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.”

Think about the verses I just quoted to you. God makes it abundantly clear that no one can stand before Him as one approved and accepted based upon their good deeds. No one stands before God approved and accepted based solely upon the merits of his obedience to God’s Holy Law. James 2:10 reminds us that “whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.”

So no, you cannot earn or otherwise weasel your way into God’s good graces. The single requirement for being a righteous person is putting your faith in God. So here is a very important question for you to consider. In fact, it is arguably the most important question you will ever be asked in your entire lifetime. Here it is: If you were to die right now, where would you spend eternity – Heaven or Hell?

Ok, what on earth does that have to do with Lot being a Super Man of God? For that matter, what does that question have to do with you or me being a Super Man of God? Faith in Christ alone for your salvation, believing with all your heart that Jesus paid the penalty for your sin in full; accepting the gift of eternal life that only Christ can give places you in a right standing before God. If you have done that, you are righteous before a holy God. Period.

In Acts 16:31 the Apostle Paul told the Philippian jailer that all he had to do was put his faith in Christ and he would be saved. It is through that faith that you become a part of God’s family. Have you done that? You see, it is by God’s grace that you are saved. Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us that salvation comes only through the act of believing in what Jesus Christ did on the Cross of Calvary – dying in your place, paying in full the penalty for your sin, - and trusting in the fact that 3 days later he rose from the dead and is alive today – as opposed to what you think you can do to save yourself. So, again I ask, have you done that?

If your answer is yes, if you have put your faith and trust in Christ alone for your salvation and eternal destiny, then you are considered by God to be positionally righteous before Him. But let me quickly add here that if you have never put your faith in Jesus Christ, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, please visit our website at ThePurityCoach.com, grab my phone number and give me a call. I would love to talk with you.

Now let’s go back to Lot. Lot was a righteous man. Lot was a Super Man of God. No, he most definitely didn’t act like it. He certainly didn’t live like it. But according to Scripture he was. And because he was, he was also a very miserable man. The sinful choices he made, and the wicked lifestyle he was living, conflicted with his righteous soul.

So, what about you? As we just saw, if you’re a born-again believer, you are righteous before God. Are you acting like it? Or are you experiencing conflict within your righteous soul?

In 2 Peter 2:7 we see that Lot, as a righteous man, was “greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of wicked men.” In other words, Lot was fighting an intense spiritual battle. On the one hand, as a righteous man, he wanted to please God in every part of his life. On the other hand, as a self-centered man, he wanted to please King Me through the many pleasures that sin has to offer. As Paul describes it in Galatians 5:17, his flesh was in conflict with the Spirit, and the Spirit was in conflict with his flesh. They were two polar opposites locked in a fierce combat for the rights to dictate the soul. Lot’s story is a serious reminder of what can happen when you allow the flesh and its sinful desires to win out.

In an earlier episode, we learned together that we choose our consequences when we choose our actions. Now think about that principle as it relates to Lot (and us). Every choice Lot made led to a consequence. Choose wrong – pay the price. Choose right – enjoy the peace.

You see, Lot’s problems began with King Me sitting high and mighty on the throne of his heart. Genesis 13:11 tells us that Lot chose for himself. And because Lot was on the throne, he saw nothing wrong with the subsequent choices he was making. So, here’s a vital question for you – whom is sitting upon the throne of YOUR heart? What are the things you are choosing for your self – and what are / or will those consequences be?

You may remember from a previous episode that God spoke with Cain (in Genesis 4:7) about this very same thing just before Cain chose to murder his brother Abel. God said, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.” Choice / consequence. You determine the consequence every time you decide the action.

Do you recall how King Solomon learned the hard way that man’s primary purpose in life is to fear God and keep His commandments? If not, I challenge you to read through the book of Ecclesiastes. In chapter 1 verse 14 he writes, “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Then, at the end of his search for meaning and purpose to his life, he comes to this one, final and powerful conclusion in chapter 12 verse 13. “Here now is my final conclusion: Fear God and obey his commands, for this is everyone’s duty.”

So, I have a question for that wise old sage. “Hey, Solomon, what is the most important thing I must do in life so that I will continuously fear God and consistently keep His commandments?” Solomon’s reply is found in Proverbs 4:23. “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Now there is some awesome counsel! What a fantastic tidbit of God-given wisdom! The most important thing I can do – in fact, the most important thing I MUST do, above all else – is to guard my heart. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is more important than this. Above all else, always post a guard around your heart.

OK, great! So, the most important thing I must do every day of my life is to guard my heart. But what exactly is my “heart” and why is it so vital that I guard it? To answer the first part of the question we need to go to the original language of that verse – Hebrew. You see, it is there that we learn that the word “heart” refers not to the muscle in your chest that goes thumpity thump thump, but rather to the place where thinking and decision-making occur. In other words, your mind.

Above all else, guard your mind. Let me repeat for emphasis here: nothing is more important than placing a guard around your mind. Why? Because out of your mind come the things of life. What you think will eventually be revealed in the things you do. But don’t take my word for it. God Himself says in Proverbs 23:7 that as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. What you think will become what you do. Therefore, choose to guard your mind and you will guard your life.

Now let’s go back to our story of Lot. Lot failed to guard his heart. He failed to protect his mind. He chose to relax, to let down his spiritual guard and allow the wickedness of the world around him to penetrate and permeate his thinking. As a result, he was in spiritual turmoil, and he made a series of very bad choices.

And so, I ask you: What is the focus of your mind? What thoughts do you entertain? What you think about will influence what you do. Are the daily choices you are making in life for the benefit of King Me or for the glory of God?

I can’t help but wonder, had Lot followed the principle of seeking first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, would his story have had a totally different ending? Lot is long dead and gone, so he cannot go back and change the events of his life. But what about you?

Be sure to join us next week for episode #149 when we conclude this 2-part look into the life and loss of Lot and discover from God’s Word how to prevent the fall of a super man of God!

OK. Let’s hit the pause button until next week’s episode as we continue our journey through my book “Are You a Super Man? Becoming God’s Man of Steel.” If you would like to learn more about today’s study, or if you’re interested in learning more about The Pure Man Ministry, be sure to visit our website to see the multitude of resources we’ve made available to you – you can find our website at ThePurityCoach.com ".

And if you have not yet subscribed to this Point of Purity Podcast, let me encourage you to do so today so you won’t miss any of our upcoming episodes!

So, until next time this is Author, Speaker, Certified Professional Mentor TM and Purity Coach Steve Etner reminding you that if you are going to glorify God in your everyday living, He must first be glorified in your every moment thinking.

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Please understand that your involvement in this program does not provide any guarantee on the part of Steve Etner, The Purity Coach or The Pure Man Ministry. In other words, we are coming alongside of you for the purpose of coaching you toward accountability and purity. I am not a professional counselor and I cannot guarantee you specified results. I am, however, a man who has been where you are and has seen God work in my life in a mighty way. This program is what changed me. And God has used this program to impact the hearts of countless men across the globe!

I'm here to encourage you, to challenge you, to pray with you, and to share with you what God has taught me. I look forward to coming alongside of you in this journey!